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xxHadleyxx

Quantum in Asia, a review

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So all of the above posts pretty well cover anything I can think of to say about the food onboard.  One small added comment is that, with the exception of Wonderland, the meals tended to move along faster than on most ships (even Wonderland moved fairly quickly for what it was).  We NEVER felt rushed, but also never felt like we had to wait and wait and wait for the next course as sometimes happens on other sailings.  Dinners usually took 60-80 minutes (Wonderland was close to, but under, two hours) and lunches were quite quick.  we really enjoyed this aspect of the sailing.

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Alright, so other than the dining, what is different on Quantum in Asia (which probably points to how Spectrum will be different too)?

 

Please note this is the only time we've sailed a Quantum Class ship, so I may be wrong about how things are done outside Asia, but I'll try to hit the things i noticed---ask questions if i leave something out.

 

I think the biggest difference is how the solarium is set up.  This IS noted on the website when reading about Quantum.  

The big, beautiful, forward solarium is NOT a public deck space.  It is reserved for suite guests, those who bought the silver or gold VIP package AND Diamond and Diamond plus members.  Again---never have I been so grateful for loyalty status!

I noticed they had electronic signs near the theatre explaining the gold VIP program and that it could be bought until the end of the second day of the sailing at a cost of 50 usd per person per day with everyone in the cabin, including children, paying.  

I also think they might have offered a special to Western guests after we left port of Osaka on the silver level as suddenly three groups started using the area who had been nowhere to be seen the first three days.  In any case, it was NEVER crowded in there--we always had many loungers or chairs to choose from.

The temperature in there was nice and warm, there were little snacks set out midday and hot snacks and happy hour from 5:30 to 9:00 nightly (same drink list as Diamond happy hour and like the lounge, no limit--which started at 5:00, so if I wanted a drink between 5-5:30 in there I could use my coupon at the bar).

Also, this space is open to everyone with status, suite bookings, etc--kids included.  Everyone was well behaved and I do not dislike kids, so it was fine, but I have seen at least one reviewer upset by this.  It is spelled out online and the signs have had the age limit covered over, but some maybe just expect that age limit, so i mention it.

Also, towels were provided in this area without having to be checked out or returned anywhere special.

 

Having this quiet oasis was really luxurious and we both felt it was similar to (and actually better than) sailing MSC Yacht Club level.

 

Behind the Solarium area is another indoor/covered pool area which is a bit smaller and not as warm but open to everyone and still warm enough.  It was always busy, but I never one went through without seeing open loungers available---so at least on our cruise, if you did not have status and wanted to lounge by a pool it was certainly possible.  

There is also an outdoor pool deck which was basically empty throughout our chilly sailing.

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There are a couple of stores/services which are different for the market.  One is the "Overseas Pharmacy" located in the central area up on deck 5 which seemed to stock a lot of medicines and herbal remedies which must not normally be so easy (or cheap? or safe?) to obtain in China.  For Westerners it looked a bit incongruous on the ship, but there were always customers in there.

Another is back towards Two70 and is the Japanese Clinic.  The advertising for this indicated that the Japanese techniques could test you and predict what serious illnesses you'll have later in life then recommend treatments and that they could also test children for "superior abilities"  Mmmm kay.

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There is also an outdoor, covered smoking area on deck 5 (I want to say Starboard).  This was a surprise to us.  We got to our cabin, walked out on the balcony, and just below and forward was this well used smoking area perfectly positioned to send smoke up into our hump balcony and even our room the moment we opened the balcony door.  Ugh.

 

It was a sold out sailing, but we headed down to Guest services to ask if there was any possibility of moving (having booked a balcony would be a total waste for us otherwise).  There was quite a line (though it seemed to move quickly), but after asking, we were directed to the Gold VIP line with our Diamond Plus status (sorry, no idea if this for Diamond as well or not).  We were nice and not at all demanding, and i assumed we had no chance of a different room--but we were told they'd let us know after sail way if someone no showed and we could change cabins.  So, for the first time ever, we did not unpack right away once we got our bags (one of which we had to retrieve from security as the tag had been pulled off.  I'm baffled as to how, it was the full, pretty strong, folded paper, stapled in three places---but retrieving it was simple (and we were surprised when our room hostess told us everyone should have all bags by after muster drill and since we did not to check with security---boy they do that fast on Quantum--and it did truly seem that all bags were delivered by then).  

 

There was no message on our phone post muster drill, nor an hour and a half later so I was ready to unpack, but David said he wanted to check with guest services first.  Good call David!  As soon as he got near the desk/line the woman we talked to hurried over and said she had been looking for us and we could move up to deck 10 forward into a balcony stateroom there (we had booked a bigger one on the hump, but were much happier with a normal sized, not smokey, balcony).  

 

(please tell me someone else reading this cannot see/read 10 forward without thinking of Star Trek)

 

This not calling the room, but looking for you to tell you something in person happened with two other little things during our cruise (one being that the future cruise sales person forgot to have us sign something---poor woman looked for us for three days!).  I am guessing this is a cultural difference.

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Hadley,we too are on the relocation cruise from China to Singapore in October,soon after we booked I began to read reviews which were a tad alarming & began to think that all was not what it seemed with Quantums' cruises out East,slowly but surely I began to find out things which largely explained the complaints I had seen,obviously from people who were expecting your regular RCI cruise & got a bit of a shock,RCI themselves didn't help much though with the cruise planner giving no clue that things were different on these cruises,that has changed as time went by,Wonderland has gone from the planner,all requests I have made to find menus & prices for it have been met by replies from RCI that they don't know,they don't seem to know much that goes on with Quantum it seems!

Thank you so much for your postings,they have been very interesting,informative & helpful,I fully expect that things will be different on our cruise but that is for us to wait & see,one thing I won't be doing though is paying that much for Wonderland or any of the rides if they are the same.

Good luck for the future Hadley,enjoy your travels!

Peter

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7 hours ago, xxHadleyxx said:

 

Another is back towards Two70 and is the Japanese Clinic.  The advertising for this indicated that the Japanese techniques could test you and predict what serious illnesses you'll have later in life then recommend treatments and that they could also test children for "superior abilities"  Mmmm kay.

 

Yeah, I thought that was terribly shonky. Moreover it was something like $1000 for the works package they sold. Just screams out they've gotten into the snake oil business.

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Awesome review. Thank you.

We are on th 7th Oct sailing from Tianjin and looking forward to it but find so little reviews. 

 

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18 hours ago, xxHadleyxx said:

There is also an outdoor, covered smoking area on deck 5 (I want to say Starboard).  This was a surprise to us. 

Was in not this bus stop area?

Related image

 

That's standard across the Quantum class.

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9 hours ago, Glide_Path said:

Any issue with other passengers line cutting?  WIndjammer, shows or otherwise?

I'm in transit today with spotty internet, but will address passenger behavior on my next full post.

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25 minutes ago, Biker19 said:

Was in not this bus stop area?

Related image

 

That's standard across the Quantum class.

Thanks.  That's good to know so we avoid ever making that booking mistake again

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OK, I have made it to a hotel room and have a keyboard and wifi connection---so let's talk passenger behaviour on an Asian cruise (or at least on the one Asian cruise I was on).

 

We'd read lots about pushing and shoving and elevator issues and crowds and were prepared to hide from the chaos, having booked a balcony for more space and figuring we could order room service if we could not take it anymore, etc.

 

So imagine our surprise when we encountered what we both feel was objectively the best behaved ship full of passengers we've ever sailed with!  Yes, there were a couple of obnoxious people, as there is in ANY group, but overall things went very well.

 

Here are some of the things we did NOT encounter at all, not even once, all cruise long:

 

saving of seats in the theatre (beyond one person leaving briefly to go to the restroom and then returning quickly)

smoking somewhere not designated for doing so

yelling at or berating of crew members

sitting on stairs

chair hogs (I looked to see if this was happening as we walked through the public indoor pool area multiple times per day)

People holding Windjammer tables long after they'd eaten at peak meal times when table space is at a premium

someone who had had too much alcohol

 

I can't think of another cruise in which we haven't encountered most of that.

 

So, what is different that might be/is annoying to Western passengers?

 

1. the "personal space" bubble in China, especially in situations such as lines or public transit (including elevators) is much smaller than in the US/Germany/etc.  This means the person in line behind you might stand super close and likely be brushing against you (even if no one is in line behind them and there is a TON of space).    Show up a bit later to meals (still in the window given) and make use of status to skip lines whenever possible and this quickly becomes almost a non issue.  Remember this is just how they do things and not meant to be rude or pushy---and really it is not bad.  

 

2. ELEVATORS:  it seems to be the norm in China (both on the ship and in the three cities I have been in once getting off) to walk into an elevator, push the close door button, then press the button for the floor you want to go to.  This can be slightly irritating as it makes the doors close faster when others are still trying to board.  That said, I really did not get the impression that people were realizing that, or thinking it through--it's more just the habit of how elevators work.  Not taking it personally or as an intended slight seems the wisest course.  

It also seems to not be the norm to wait for others to exit the elevator before entering--though I did notice that most enter from the sides, leaning the middle available for exiting (which fits how subway doors are labeled and handled in China on land), or if that failed, people would enter on one side and exit on the other----so, again, it doesn't seem like anyone is intentionally blocking people in, just that the norm in this part of the world is for both directions to happen at once.  

People were not likely, at stops, to look back to see who might need out and make space for them to exit----just put your arm through first and then follow that and walk out, people will move.  Saying "excuse me" etc rarely got a reaction, but then again maybe not everyone even understood the words?

I read a lot about overcrowded elevators--which we only encountered twice in a week of going here and there all the time.  So not really such a big deal---we encounter more overcrowding, and more pushing and not getting out of the way on most of our other sailings in Europe or on TAs.  There was ONE incident in which we were the only people in the elevator and where we got off one woman got on and she made an effort to try to stomp down on my husband's flip flop clad foot with her heel---appeared to intentionally cross over to the far side from where she was and move her foot there and stomp down. It felt weird and like some sort of power display.  It was also one person and one incident on a 7 night cruises with 4000 passengers.  Every lrge group has a few jerks among it, this was no exception.  

Things we did to avoid any potential problems: wait a few minutes after muster drill was over to head to our rooms, leaving the theatre while the CD was still talking post show (most stayed) OR staying seated until most people had cleared out.  Walking across to the second bank of elevators when returning from port.

 

We honestly thought it was easier to get an elevator than on most of our cruises.  I think this is partially the number of elevators on the ship, and also due to there being so few EVCs (we saw ONE person using one, a small, foldable version) and strollers (two were in use during the week, both small by US standards).

 

Overall we felt the issues we had read about were greatly exaggerated and also the issues actually there were mostly relatively easy to avoid or mitigate with a bit of common sense and some tolerance for "different" not meaning "rude/bad"

 

A couple other random differences we noticed:

 

I think it was day four before we saw any Chinese people in bars or clubs after 10:30ish at night.  

Chinese people seem to much prefer line dancing to just doing their own thing and the line dances seem to have a lot more arm movements---felt like an aerobics class

 

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1 hour ago, xxHadleyxx said:

OK, I have made it to a hotel room and have a keyboard and wifi connection---so let's talk passenger behaviour on an Asian cruise (or at least on the one Asian cruise I was on).

 

We'd read lots about pushing and shoving and elevator issues and crowds and were prepared to hide from the chaos, having booked a balcony for more space and figuring we could order room service if we could not take it anymore, etc.

 

So imagine our surprise when we encountered what we both feel was objectively the best behaved ship full of passengers we've ever sailed with!  Yes, there were a couple of obnoxious people, as there is in ANY group, but overall things went very well.

 

Here are some of the things we did NOT encounter at all, not even once, all cruise long:

 

saving of seats in the theatre (beyond one person leaving briefly to go to the restroom and then returning quickly)

smoking somewhere not designated for doing so

yelling at or berating of crew members

sitting on stairs

chair hogs (I looked to see if this was happening as we walked through the public indoor pool area multiple times per day)

People holding Windjammer tables long after they'd eaten at peak meal times when table space is at a premium

someone who had had too much alcohol

 

I can't think of another cruise in which we haven't encountered most of that.

 

So, what is different that might be/is annoying to Western passengers?

 

1. the "personal space" bubble in China, especially in situations such as lines or public transit (including elevators) is much smaller than in the US/Germany/etc.  This means the person in line behind you might stand super close and likely be brushing against you (even if no one is in line behind them and there is a TON of space).    Show up a bit later to meals (still in the window given) and make use of status to skip lines whenever possible and this quickly becomes almost a non issue.  Remember this is just how they do things and not meant to be rude or pushy---and really it is not bad.  

 

2. ELEVATORS:  it seems to be the norm in China (both on the ship and in the three cities I have been in once getting off) to walk into an elevator, push the close door button, then press the button for the floor you want to go to.  This can be slightly irritating as it makes the doors close faster when others are still trying to board.  That said, I really did not get the impression that people were realizing that, or thinking it through--it's more just the habit of how elevators work.  Not taking it personally or as an intended slight seems the wisest course.  

It also seems to not be the norm to wait for others to exit the elevator before entering--though I did notice that most enter from the sides, leaning the middle available for exiting (which fits how subway doors are labeled and handled in China on land), or if that failed, people would enter on one side and exit on the other----so, again, it doesn't seem like anyone is intentionally blocking people in, just that the norm in this part of the world is for both directions to happen at once.  

People were not likely, at stops, to look back to see who might need out and make space for them to exit----just put your arm through first and then follow that and walk out, people will move.  Saying "excuse me" etc rarely got a reaction, but then again maybe not everyone even understood the words?

I read a lot about overcrowded elevators--which we only encountered twice in a week of going here and there all the time.  So not really such a big deal---we encounter more overcrowding, and more pushing and not getting out of the way on most of our other sailings in Europe or on TAs.  There was ONE incident in which we were the only people in the elevator and where we got off one woman got on and she made an effort to try to stomp down on my husband's flip flop clad foot with her heel---appeared to intentionally cross over to the far side from where she was and move her foot there and stomp down. It felt weird and like some sort of power display.  It was also one person and one incident on a 7 night cruises with 4000 passengers.  Every lrge group has a few jerks among it, this was no exception.  

Things we did to avoid any potential problems: wait a few minutes after muster drill was over to head to our rooms, leaving the theatre while the CD was still talking post show (most stayed) OR staying seated until most people had cleared out.  Walking across to the second bank of elevators when returning from port.

 

We honestly thought it was easier to get an elevator than on most of our cruises.  I think this is partially the number of elevators on the ship, and also due to there being so few EVCs (we saw ONE person using one, a small, foldable version) and strollers (two were in use during the week, both small by US standards).

 

Overall we felt the issues we had read about were greatly exaggerated and also the issues actually there were mostly relatively easy to avoid or mitigate with a bit of common sense and some tolerance for "different" not meaning "rude/bad"

 

A couple other random differences we noticed:

 

I think it was day four before we saw any Chinese people in bars or clubs after 10:30ish at night.  

Chinese people seem to much prefer line dancing to just doing their own thing and the line dances seem to have a lot more arm movements---felt like an aerobics class

 

Glad you posted these observations.  I found most people were overly polite to us.  I also found after the first day, people realized they are on a ship, and no need to rush.

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On 4/4/2019 at 8:46 AM, snaefell said:

Hadley,we too are on the relocation cruise from China to Singapore in October,soon after we booked I began to read reviews which were a tad alarming & began to think that all was not what it seemed with Quantums' cruises out East,slowly but surely I began to find out things which largely explained the complaints I had seen,obviously from people who were expecting your regular RCI cruise & got a bit of a shock,RCI themselves didn't help much though with the cruise planner giving no clue that things were different on these cruises,that has changed as time went by,Wonderland has gone from the planner,all requests I have made to find menus & prices for it have been met by replies from RCI that they don't know,they don't seem to know much that goes on with Quantum it seems!

Thank you so much for your postings,they have been very interesting,informative & helpful,I fully expect that things will be different on our cruise but that is for us to wait & see,one thing I won't be doing though is paying that much for Wonderland or any of the rides if they are the same.

Good luck for the future Hadley,enjoy your travels!

Peter

See you onboard !

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22 hours ago, Joseph2017China said:

Glad you posted these observations.  I found most people were overly polite to us.  I also found after the first day, people realized they are on a ship, and no need to rush.

 

Yes---we did wonder if the passenger base being so much more heavily tilted to first time cruisers was as much at play as the nationality of said cruisers when it came to things like people not realizing until told that they could show up at later times for dining, or not finding the clubs until midweek, etc. . .

 

At the top tier party they said there were just over 400 C&A members onboard, a bit more than half of whom were gold level only.  So, that is a very inexperienced cruising group overall.  There were 40 something Diamonds, 38 Diamond Plus and no Pinnacles.

 

 

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´For Main Stage entertainment we had:

 

Sequins and Feathers production show the first night.  It was kind of a standard cruise variety act---that said, it was our favourite of those we have seen, by quite a lot.  The music was more upbeat, mostly modern, no long drawn out ballads, the costume were fun and colorful, the choreography interesting and they did not even try to pretend to have a plot.  We really enjoyed it.

 

(this reminds me of another cultural difference, which we saw on the ship and on land as well---Chinese Audience do not clap or cheer much mid show.  That'S got to be hard on the performers--no energy from the audience.  But at the end they were invariably very enthusiastic with standing ovations, etc.  

 

That was the ONLY main stage production show on or 7 night cruise.  We're used to 2 on a seven night and I think there might sometimes be two (a second was named in the survey) but either the two late nights in port were a factor, or the just needing the cast to perform the Star Water show so many times for everyone to get a chance to see it.

 

Other nights we had:

two movie nights (the nights were were in port until 4:00 am and 10:00 pm)

a Motown Group (they were pretty good, not the best of them, but far from the worst)

a Chinese magician (we missed this as we were at Wonderland)

an Australian comedy magician--he was funny and great with the Chinese audience

a former winner of The Voice Philippines---she was good

 

The other big show is the Star Water show held in Two70.  This is the one you need a reservation for.  You make that by picking up tickets on the first sea day (much like for ice shows on some of the other ships).  

The concierge had already reserved enough seats for D+, Gold VIP and suites on a designated night (maybe also Diamond but I am not sure).

My take on StarWater is that it has some very cool tech and the dancing is very well done, but the show itself drags and is boring.  The songs were long and slow and boring--mostly watered down (elevator music) versions of good things (songs by the Police, Bob Marley, etc).  The opening number was a small section of Vogue, repeated over and over with slow musical interludes in between---a number which would have been fun for 2-3 minute but drug on for nearly 15.  Personally, I really WANTED to enjoy this show, but the style just did not do it for me (or my husband) and we could not really get into it (though we both thought the section where a woman sings wearing a flowy white gown which hangs down several meters while she is elevated above everyone else, and the others shook her white skirts, was like a prolonged version of playing parachute in gym class in the 80s lol

 

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, xxHadleyxx said:

  There were 40 something Diamonds, 38 Diamond Plus and no Pinnacles.

Maybe I missed it, was there a top tier party? What was the top cruiser point total?

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9 hours ago, Biker19 said:

Maybe I missed it, was there a top tier party? What was the top cruiser point total?

Top cruiser was 400 and something points.  A couple from Australia

Party was held in two70.

CD and captain each spoke a bit.  The robotic TVs did a little show.  Wait staff brought around snacks and drinks.  There were no small plates for the snacks, only napkins, which was a bit odd.  It was a decent little party overall though.

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22 hours ago, Pencruise said:

See you onboard !

Looking forward to it,soon be here,can't believe how fast time has gone since we booked it,hopr RCI don't mess about changing much else!

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5 minutes ago, snaefell said:

Looking forward to it,soon be here,can't believe how fast time has gone since we booked it,hopr RCI don't mess about changing much else!

Has anything changed ? If so we haven’t been informed.

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I guess it depends how long ago you booked,they have dropped one stop in Vietnam,there were 3 now there are 2,added what they call an overnight in Hong Kong,which in effect means we leave there at 2am instead of the previous evening &,more recently, changed a couple of arrival & departure times,it is all on these forums somewhere !

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This might be a controversial statement but...

 

One reason I loved your awesome review, is that it made me realize an Asian cruise isn’t for us.  I was thinking a btb in a few years could be cool.  I’ve been to Asia for work a few times, and DH didn’t think he’d ever care to go.  I thought a cruise might be a good way for me to see some more of the sites... but I think he’d hate it.  There are still MANY more cool places we want to see, that he would LOVE, so I’m ok with skipping an Asian cruise 🙂

 

thanks again!!

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